ViaSat, a US-based satellite company, has teamed up with Boeing to build three new satellites that will provide high-speed Internet to remote areas around the world. This joint project was announced two days ago. ViaSat is scheduled to launch its satellite ViaSat2 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in just a few months.
These three new satellites, named ViaSat3, will be carrying a total network capacity of a whopping 1 Terabit per second, triple the capacity of ViaSat2. It will be able to deliver 100 Mbps service to remote residential areas in the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The satellites are already being developed, and Boeing plans to launch by the end of 2019.
The company stated that these satellites will not only boost Internet connection in remote areas, but also on commercial airlines, business-class jets and government aircraft. They are also planning to send 1 Gbps to “maritime, oceanic and other corporate enterprise applications such as oil and gas platforms.”
The company also stated that the three new satellites could deliver twice (or more) the total network capacity of the 400 or so commercial communications satellites currently orbiting the Earth combined.
Despite all the great plans that ViaSat has in store, they are not alone in this great idea. Other companies have also joined the bandwagon in providing high-speed Internet. SpaceX and Virgin are planning to increase efforts to launch their own satellites.
Google plans to go on a different route, and wants to focus on delivering 5G connections by using solar-powered drones or massive balloons. Facebook has partnered with French satellite Eutelsat to build their own solar-powered drones so that they can provide Internet connection to sub-Saharan Africa. They are also potentially working on a millimeter-wave radio mesh network solution.
While these high-speed Internet plans are incredible and will definitely allow more people to stay connected, challenges such as weather conditions can dampen satellite Internet connections. On a positive note, it is awesome that several companies are putting a lot of effort to provide fast connection to people around the world.
This article has been updated. Previously, it erroneously compared the mesh network to Starry’s point-to-point network.